Sometimes, you're just on the phone at the right time with the right person.
I was talking to Romeoville Deputy Chief Mark Turvey last week when an officer called him over the radio to say they found a bomb on the playground at Irene King Elementary School.
So I headed over there to find the school was surrounded by officers who blocked the entrances as they waited for the Cook County Bomb Squad to arrive.
It ended up not to be a bomb. The scary-looking objects were air quality monitoring devices that were placed at six schools to check air quality after the rupture of an oil pipeline in the industrial park near Route 53 and Normantown Road.
The devices did look like bombs. And, on the eve of Sept. 11th - no one was taking any chances.
Valley View School District closed Hermansen Elementary School. Irene King and five other schools were put on a lockdown.
School District Spokesman Larry Randa said there were apologies galore and promises of better communications by the company, Enbridge Pipelines Inc.
But oops, they did it again. Six new devices showed up in high-traffic areas at various Romeoville schools Tuesday afternoon, again unannounced to either the police department or the school district, Randa said.
"Placing these latest devices in these highly visible locations created a safety hazard because parents who hadn't heard about Friday's incidents were concerned when they saw this strange looking device," said Leroy Brown, school safety coordinator in a press release. "And those who had heard about last week's incidents were naturally curious about the device and were stopping to take a look."
At first, maintenance workers cordoned off a device at King Elementary School using yellow "caution" tape. But the next day, the district said enough is enough, and removed the devices at King and the other schools.
The devices were returned to Enbridge officials Wednesday morning who again apologized for the lack of communication, Randa said.
Meanwhile, the school district is figuring out how much this oil leak is costing them.
So far, the pipeline company officials have agreed to pay the school district between $14,000 to $15,000 to pay its bus drivers and monitors for the day of work they missed on Sept. 10 when all school transportation was canceled because buses weren't allowed to leave the district's Spangler Transportation Center which is located a few blocks from the pipeline break.
It's also costing the district about $4,000 a day in additional pay to keep the buses with its drivers instead of parking the buses at the bus barn.
The district has yet to calculate additional personnel costs to deal with emergency procedures and planning.
So stay tuned.